Boycotts Do Work — Just Ask Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity

The era of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity may be coming to an end sooner than expected with the revelation that Cumulus Media, the second largest broadcasting company in the United States, has decided to drop both of them at the end of the year.

Comedians and bloggers, don’t think these two are going away. However, this is a blow to both of them, especially Limbaugh who doesn’t have an evening TV show on Fox News like Hannity does. In other words, Hannity will be just fine but this going to really hurt Limbaugh.

The next time someone talks about “letting the free market handle it,” remind them of this event. And while it doesn’t signal a true “end” for Rush Limbaugh being on the airwaves, it’s by far the most significant blow he’s sustained in his media career — and it’s owed in large part to the millions who’ve boycotted Rush’s advertisers, forcing them to sever ties with the controversial talk show host.

Talk radio (and radio in general) has been on the ratings and advertising dollars decline for many years now and the boycott against sponsors of Limbaugh after his vitriol-laced attack on Sandra Fluke most certainly hastened this decision. Back in May, PoliticusUSA reported the following:

“What the mainstream media neglects to mention is that all of Rush’s problems can be traced back to the ongoing success of the advertiser boycott. If people would have let Limbaugh get away with calling Sandra Fluke a slut, the rift between Rush and Cumulus would not be happening right now. The fact of the matter is that the boycott is still costing Cumulus and Rush Limbaugh money. Most of the hundreds of advertisers who left haven’t come back.”

That’s right, boycotts can work. We hit the broadcasting companies in the wallet and now that is trickling down to Hannity and Limbaugh who will have to find other avenues through which to spew their insane rants against educated women, liberals, minorities and anyone else who isn’t a heterosexual conservative.  Media companies depend on advertising and unless they’re seeing ratings or internet traffic, advertisers will pull out. Hannity, Limbaugh and other right-wing personalities have an ever-shrinking audience and the younger generations not only tend to have more liberal beliefs, but the radio isn’t where we go for information anymore.

But don’t let someone fool you into thinking that this was a move by some “liberal media” entity that’s just out to get Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Cumulus Media realized that if they want to stay relevant and make money, they’d have to jettison the dead weight — and so they did.

Had these boycotts not had an impact, Rush Limbaugh would still be rolling in revenue from his advertisers and his steep price tag for his “services” (racism, ignorance and bigotry apparently cost quite a lot) would have possibly been more justified for Cumulus Media to invest in. However, with the hemorrhaging of advertisers, and the diminished revenue stream created by the exodus, it gave Cumulus the leverage to negotiate a much lower price with Premiere to continue carrying the shows — which was much less than they were willing to take.

Rush Limbaugh isn’t a “big deal” anymore. He’s a washed up pile of garbage, a relic of a day and age when ignorance was tolerated. But those days are quickly fading away. They’re being hastily extinguished by a younger, more educated and liberal generation that will no longer sit idly by and allow someone like Rush Limbaugh to pollute our airwaves with his nonsense.

What this news proves is that your voice can be heard, and it has been heard.

When applied properly, a boycott can force a company to change the way it operates or end up out of business. Whether it is Cumulus Media, Fox News or even a multi-national corporation like Monsanto, all are vulnerable to boycotts because they are all in existence for one thing and one thing only — money. Refuse to do business with companies who advertise on channels that support hate speech or indulge in unethical business behaviors. Cut off the ad revenue, cut off the sales and the whole thing dies on the vine — as evidenced by the domino effect it has had on Rush Limbaugh. By year’s end, Limbaugh’s toxic brand of “radio news” will have a much smaller reach, which is great news for the sanity of our country as a whole.


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